Category Archives: Fashion

Shooter Chic: Jewel Hits Fashion, Fan Interactivity Bullseye

Jewel swag
Jewel Swag (signed copy of Sweet and Wild CD, media pass) Also pictured is the pin pad we used for interactive portions of the show.

As a good journalist, I have to tell you this upfront: I’m a Jewel fan.

And not just the “I know the words to ‘Foolish Games'” kind of fan. I’m a “I’ve been to every Jewel concert to come within a 200 mile radius of me, read all her books, and have every song she’s ever recorded memorized” kind of fan.

So when I got a press release about Jewel hosting an interactive concert, and the ability to see it here in Cincinnati, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. I emailed the folks who sent me the release and they agreed to give me a media pass to take part in the event and write a review on it.

I had never been to an “interactive concert” before and the press release was scarce on details, so I tried to do some digging. I didn’t find much, but I did learn that the company behind this new concert concept is Velocity Broadcasting. This Pittsburgh-based company apparently has a bunch of high definition television networks and they produce and broadcast custom-made, multimedia TV in HD. So, say a pharmaceutical company wants to do interactive videoconferencing with all the Rheumatologists across the nation, they’d call Velocity.

Well, Velocity apparently decided to spread its wings into the music world. And Jewel helped them do that. (I couldn’t find any other artists that they did one of these interactive concerts with before Jewel’s, so I’m assuming she’s the first.)

So, here’s what they did: The night before Jewel’s new “Sweet and Wild” CD released, they had this virtual, interactive concert called “First Spin.” It was a launch party of sorts. People all over the world purchased tickets (they were around $100) through Velocity. You can actually still see Jewel’s promo video of the event at The ticket price included the concert and a four course meal. Here in Cincinnati, the two locations to choose from were Mortons Steakhouse and Maggianos (I chose Mortons).

pin pad
Event Emcee and Jewel. Explaining how to vote via pin pad on the three outfit options.

I get there, and I’m greeted with a signed copy of Jewel’s not-yet-released “Sweet and Wild” CD. SCORE! Each guest got one as part of their ticket price. Then came the amazing food (I had crab cakes and filet minon… yum!) while we watched live behind the scenes footage of Jewel backstage.

An emcee of the event took us through her motorcoach, we met her puppy and saw where she writes on the road. Then the interactive portion of the event began.

We were given little pin pads. They looked like mini remote controls. Backstage, Jewel gave us the opportunity to pick her first and last song via vote with our remote controls. Then she went through her closet and picked out three outfits for us to vote on. (The little floral sundress I voted on won by a landslide!)

Then we got to do a 10-question Jewel trivia game using our pin pads. This was like crack for all the Jewel fans in the room. The prize – for the most correct answers and quickest response time – was an iPad signed by Jewel. The questions were tough, but I got 7 out of 10 right. Right after the game was over, the system tabulated results and live broadcasted who won. Jewel talked to the winner live, signed the iPad for her on the air and asked her which song she’d like her to play at the concert. How cool is that?

steel magnolia
Steel Magnolia singer and her yummy blinged out necklace

And just to give us a feel of the thousands of other people (the release said this had the potential to reach 165,000 people globally) tuning in to Jewel’s performance that night, they showed live feeds from locations around the world – from Canada and Australia to a big blogger party in Florida. It was so neat to know I was part of such a large group of Jewel fans that night, even though I was sitting in a small room of about 10 people.

Steel Magnolia was the opening act. The female signer was wearing a super fab necklace. Big, chunky and sparkly – as all good jewelry should be. : ) They were talented! The ladies at my table really liked them. I was too overwhelmed with anticipation to see Jewel… wearing what I voted for her to wear and play what I voted for her to play.

Jewel finally came on and it was euphoric. She was wearing the cute little floral number, oh and her guitar strap was lined with bullets – a trend I’ll now refer to as “shooter chic.” : )

shooter chic
Jewel and her "Shooter Chic" guitar strap

She played for more than an hour. It was in such crisp HD, I felt like I was there popping her bubble of personal space. But in reality, I was (at this point) sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying a nice piece of key lime pie in the comfort of a steakhouse.

She was performing live in Pittsburgh (actually in the same studios where Mr. Roger’s was filmed). And with this experience, I genuinely felt like I was there. I was skeptical about it at first. I wondered if it would essentially be like watching a pre-recorded Jewel concert on a cheap projector. Granted, I probably still would’ve gone.

But this… this was an amazing experience like none other. It was unlike any in-person Jewel concerts I had ever gone to, or any other music performance I’ve participated in (I’m married to a musician, so I’ve seen my fair share).

I left there invigorated. I knew I had just been to “the concert of the future.” It had every thing our society wants right now: immediate, on-demand interaction. I was so proud of Jewel for being the musician who made this forward-thinking performance possible. Not bad for an Alaskan girl who grew up in a one-room cabin!

Check out the video below I shot from the event. Gives you a good idea of how the room was set up! And click here to get her CD. Or at least see the must-have shooter chic outfit she’s wearing on the cover. She’s smokin’! Enjoy!


Summer Style Gala This Wednesday

Summer Style GalaWe’re doing a really cool event this Wednesday at James Free Jewelers to showcase all the hottest summer trends. Some of their jewelry designers are coming into town for the event, so you will not only get to see the styles but you can also meet the makers!

I also brought J Lee Rabiner with Doncaster Fashionistas, a private label clothier, into this event to dress models in the latest clothing fashions. My friends over at Tuscany Spa.Salon agreed to provide the hair and makeup on the models, and will feature this summer’s freshest hair/makeup trends as well.

James Free is doing 25% off nine featured designers, for four hours only (4-8pm) this Wednesday! I hope you’ll join me at this tres trendy event! It’ll be at the James Free Jewelers in Old Montgomery (9555 Main Street).

To rev up for the event, I got to interview one of the jewelry designers who will be featured at the event, Barbara Westwood. Enjoy this Q&A about her wearable art.

Tell me about your new collections for this Summer.
My collections are: Doors and Windows, Water, Clouds, Sky, Love and Horizons.

For “Doors and Windows”: Jewelry is a perfect metaphor.  What it represents cannot be seen or heard; yet it can be felt.  What it means is only known to the wearer.  It can be a reminder or a marker for transformations, beginnings, endings, realizations, direction, and decisions. Doors and Windows is a symbol for any of the portals of life

I’m introducing a new collection: “Horizons”
With each new edition in the one of a kind collections I am  reminded of how jewelry can transform even the quietest of memories and experiences.
One day at the beach I looked out over the horizon and found complete calm as I viewed this commom, yet magical line we all see. I asked how is it that this line merging earth and sky could evoke this feeling of  contentment and peace.

This is the kind of mystery and magic that inspires me to create.  This effortless feeling is what I wanted to capture in this collection.  Knowing that no words can really touch this, I brought forth this idea of calm by introducing a dividing line of diamonds between two different stones.  Although this is a metaphor I needed my own reminder that peace of mind is experienced within, and am happy to share this idea, as thought to form, with you my wonderful Collectors.

What are some big colors you’re working with for Summer?
Turquoise has been the most important color and gemstone I am working with this season.  Everyone just loves the color.

Be on the lookout for a new collection I have called “The Sedona Collection” using turquoise and Mexican Cuprite agate.

Prada Taste on a Payless Budget

Yesterday was my birthday. So, like a good little bday girl, I blocked the day off for shopping and pampering!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law and I went to Mi Salon & Spa in Florence for pedicures. I went there on a recommendation from Debba at Girlfriendology, and I loved it! Afterward, I decided to do a little shopping at Macy’s downtown.

I had $75 in promotional gift certificates that were going to expire, so I thought I’d treat myself on the cheap! I had a few things I actually needed, so I was excited to do some damage, without really doing damage to our budget!

Because I’m teaching four spinning classes a week at Keep It Tight, I need new workout clothes and also some new no-wrinkle dresses that I can throw in my gym bag to wear to work. I also wanted new shoes because it was my birthday and it’s fun to buy shoes.

I have to tell you, I was sooooo disappointed in the Macy’s selection. I searched all over trying to find workout wear, to eventually find out they didn’t carry any. I searched high and low for cute dresses, but it was all mostly outdated styles and frump wear.

Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedges (originally $695.00, sale price $485.99)

I will say, there were a few cute dresses, but even with their 20% off sale, they would have still been more than $100. Sorry, more than I’m looking to spend for something I’ll be stuffing in a gym bag.

I went down to their shoe department, sure I’d find something there. No, again! The Jessica Simpson line was the only redeeming element of their shoe department. But unfortunately Jessica’s line is a little too hoochy-momma for my work wear (I needed new work shoes), so I didn’t make any new purchases there either.

I ended up spending my $75 on some very not-so-exciting things: hosiery, shapewear and a belt.

But after this two-hour-long search for a little splurge, I couldn’t go home without buying something a little fun. It was my birthday afterall. So, I went across the street to Saks. I had shoes on the brain, so I made a bee line for that department. They had a much better selection, but they were waaaaay overpriced.

I found some super cute Prada Cutout Espadrille Wedges. I saw “sale price” and thought “ooooh, goody!” That is until I saw that the original price was $695, and they were on sale for the bargain basement price of $485.99. I shrugged my shoulders in defeat and waved bye bye to the pretty Prada. And off to Payless I went.

Payless Canvas Knot Wedge ($24.99)

And man oh man did I splurge. And it was fun to splurge there. Such cute stuff and they had great prices. Although, I will say Payless has price hiked a little – their most expensive pump is pushing $26 now (I remember when they maxed out at $12/pair). But still, $26 is MUCH easier to stomach for a simple little splurge than $485.99!

I got several new shoes, and I’m really, really happy about them! And every time I wear them, I’ll remember my birthday search for a splurge. Oh yeah, and I’ll again be reminded that I have Prada taste on a Payless budget!

I also ended up buying these ruffle pumps ($24.99) because they looked so similar to my Stuart Weitzman black ruffle pumps ($179, Cincy Designer Shoes). I wear my Weitzmans all the time, so I figure I’ll have an inexpensive backup pair when they wear out! Now that’s some smart splurging!

SATC2 and Sexy in the City

genie pant
Arabian Chic looks from SATC2. Carrie sporting new "Genie Pants" (click to enlarge)

I watched the “Sex and the City 2” movie, and I was pretty bummed. I just couldn’t relate much.

Helloooo…. Abu Dhabi is where Garfield sends Nermal. That’s not where normal people vacation. Oh and Samantha was officially what my friends call OC (outta control). She flipped off Muslim clerics as her handbag spewed condoms during prayer time. Yeah, that’s not going to help our international relations with Arabic countries.

I miss the days where Carrie didn’t have the cash to finish her floors, so Aidan swooped in and did them for her. I can relate to that. That’s real. Unfortunately not real enough to get my husband to refinish our floors at home, though.  : – /

I’ll get off my soapbox here in a sec, but I do hope the SATC franchise remembers who their sexless-the-suburb fans are. We want them to be different enough to wish we were them, but “relateable” enough to have shared some of the same experiences. I didn’t relate to anything. Between Samantha’s estrogen pills, the opulent trip to Abu Dhabi and comments like “how do moms without nannies do it all?” they’re OC and need to get back on my believability meter. Just sayin’…

I will say SATC2 was OC in one good way: The fashion. I have a feeling this movie is going to inspire a slew of “Arabian Chic” trends that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. In fact, I already saw “genie pants” at Paris J Boutique in Montgomery! They’re basically harem pants but puffier at the bottom. (Think Princess Jasmine in “Aladin”) Also, lots of thick, bright gold jewelry with rich gem tones. We’ll see a resurgence of sheer material and turban headdresses will soon become on-trend as well.

I’ll be on Fox19 at 8:15am June 2 with SATC2-inspired looks from ALK Fashion, Serket Jewelry (two amazing local designers btw) and Aldo Shoes. DVR it, watch us live, or check back to this blog for a video of the segment! I’m excited to do it!

Also, pseudo SATC related, I learned about this “Sexy in the City” event you might be interested in. Full disclosure, Keep it Tight Fitness is a Cincy Chic client (but I’m not being paid to promote the event here). Also… super excited about this… I just started as a Spin instructor there! I’m there (in Mason) MWF 6am and on Saturday 8am. Come by and check out my class if you get the chance! And definitely check out this “Sexy in the City” event. Sounds super chic!

Fab-u-Shoe Friday: Shoe Clips

We had a Cincy Chic event called “Handbag Heaven” this week and one of our vendors had these cute little shoe clips. They completely transformed the look of my boring black pump! I ended up getting two pair… one for black shoes and the other for brown. I also realized, you can put the clip in your hair, on a blouse or on a handbag to spice up your look too! I got these at Buenos Aires Mercado, and they were only $15 for two!

Cincy Chic Meets Clinton Kelly

Saturday was a busy day in Amyland. I had the Locals on Living Saving Summit event in the morning, then I met with Clinton Kelly for an interview, and then I taped a commercial for Bad Girl Ventures.

errrrrrrrrrr… back up… that’s right, I met with Clinton Kelly! As I promised in a blog last week, I got an in-person interview with him to talk about what he was doing here in our fine city of Cincinnati. He was in town as stop six of eight on the “Macy’s and Clinton Kelly Make Over America Tour” that’s providing makeovers to women across America.

Twelve Tri-State women were selected to receive a head-to-toe Macy’s makeover, with wardrobe styling provided by Clinton Kelly himself. Check out the video below as I talk with Clinton about this campaign. He’s so passionate about providing style advice for real women, so about mid-way though, I decided I wanted him to analyze my style to make sure I was dressing right for my body type (FYI, I’m a curvy girl and I decided to wear skinny jeans that day). You won’t want to miss what he said!


Also check out the before and after pictures of the girls who received makeovers below. Macy’s sent me before and after pictures, and I tried to match them up so you could see side-by-side comparisons. But some of the women looked so completely different, I couldn’t tell who was who! That’s a good thing though! Enjoy the pics and try to see for yourself if you can match up the befores and afters!



UPDATE: Macy’s PR person sent me an email after I posted this blog and helped me decipher who was who. Here are side-by-side comparisons of all the makeover winners! Enjoy! (Click on the photos to enlarge).

LOL Savings Summit Recap

If you missed our LOL Live: Savings Summit today, you missed a lot. But that’s ok. I still love you.

I recorded the presentation Kasmira (from What I Wore Today) and I did today. I linked the video below. Also below is a slideshow of pics of Londyn from blogfashion who helped us out by modeling a remixed dress. She helped us see one dress in four different looks. It was fab!

Enjoy the full recording of our presentation below. If you want to see our slides, click here. To those of you who did come, thank you! It was so fun! : )

Hope to see everyone at next year’s LOL Live: Savings Summit!



Fab-u-shoe Friday: Zipper Ruffles

I met a really great gal in my Bikini Bootcamp class (which I need to go to more often btw), Michelle Matson, who shares my love of saucy shoes. Turns out she’s a financial investment guru, author of a book called “Rich Chick,” and her personal and professional motto is to “get dressed to invest.”

I started to follow her on twitter, and noticed that every Friday she would post a picture of the shoes she was wearing. They were always fabulous, face-fan-inducing shoes. Some times they were her shoes, some times they were ones she saw when shopping, some times they were other people’s shoes she admired. One requirement: they had to be fabulous. I loved the idea so I told her I was stealing it for my own facebook and twitter account.fabushoes

So for the past couple of months, I’ve been sharing with my friends my Fab-u-shoe Friday pick of the week. Unfortunately, I ran out of my own shoes worth posting rather quickly (ugh, I really need to go shopping but I’m trying to be good and save $), so for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been posting my friends’ shoes that I like.

I decided to start posting Fab-u-shoe Friday here on my blog because my friends seem to love it! This week’s FF post is courtesy of local makeup artist Chenese Bean. She posted these last week and I loved them! I’m seeing this trend of zipper ruffles everywhere! Jacket lapels, shoes, jewelry… and now fab-u-shoes! : ) Enjoy!

Althea Harper Trunk Show at Envy Saturday

Althea Harper
Althea Harper

Althea Harper (blonde bombshell fashion designer from Season 6 of Project Runway) is a DAAP grad and comes back to the area often.

I just got word that she’s coming back to the area this weekend. She’s coming in to do a trunk show at a store in Dayton (technically, Beavercreek). There is a boutique in Hyde Park called “Envy” so don’t get this Envy confused with that Envy. I wonder if one envied the other’s name so much they just took it! : )

Here are the deets:

Althea Harper Trunk Show at Envy Saturday

Project Runway alum Althea Harper will be holding a trunk show on Saturday May 15 at Envy at the Greene from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Call to get your name on the list!

73 Chestnut Street
Beavercreek, OH 45440
(937) 426-1200

And don’t worry, it won’t conflict with this Saturday’s Savings Summit event (get your tickets today – only 60 tickets left!). You can go to the Savings Summit, grab some dinner and head north on 75 a bit to check out Envy and Althea’s fab fashions. Althea will be there, too, so you’ll get to meet her if you go.

Click here to read more about Althea on Cincy Chic.

Clinton Kelly Gets “Real” with Cincy Chic

makeover americaSeriously. The “What Not to Wear” Gods are smiling down on me in 2010! Last month I got to meet Stacy London and yesterday I got to chat with Clinton Kelly on the phone (an in-person interview will follow when he comes to town on May 15 *pinching myself*).

The reason for my chat with Mr. Kelly? Well, he’s part of the “Macy’s and Clinton Kelly Make Over America Tour” that’s providing makeovers to 96 women across America  – 12 women in eight cities, including Cincinnati.

Clinton says he chose the women based on their story, but also made his selection to represent a diverse group of what he calls “real women.” The winners he selected come in all shapes, sizes, skin colors and types, hair colors and textures. He says he purposefully chose such a wide spectrum of winners because wanted viewers to be able to relate to at least one of the winners.

This tour will mark the fifth year Clinton has worked with Macy’s on a fashion show campaign across America (Click here to see pictures from his visit to Cincinnati in 2008).

When Clinton first started working with Macy’s, he worked with your typical model type (aka the skinny bitches we all hate – haha!). Then he began to incorporate plus size models into his shows. At the end of last year, he talked with Macy’s about how great it would be to feature real women on stage instead of models. They loved the idea and decided to run with it!

Clinton said Macy’s has been a great partner in executing this idea (he did admit though that it’s been a bit of a logistical nightmare to pull off, but they’re dealing with it well). They had tons of applicants and they finally narrowed it down to the 12 lucky winners in the eight selected cities (Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Albany, St. Louis, Seattle, Cincinnati, Houston and Raleigh). He and these 12 self-proclaimed style-starved Cincinnati girls will be strutting their stuff at a fashion show at Macy’s Kenwood Towne Centre on Saturday, May 15 at 2pm.

And because Cincinnati’s a big small town you’ll probably know one of the girls who will be rocking the runway. If so some out to support her, see her new look and meet Clinton Kelly! Here are the Cincinnati area Make Over America winners (and pictured in the below slideshow):
·        Tiffany Anderson from Seven Mile, OH
·        Michelle Burgio from Hamilton, OH
·        Danielle Cain from Cincinnati, OH
·        Shannon Crutchfield from Cincinnati, OH
·        Jennifer Gerike from Cincinnati, OH
·        Sarah Godfrey from Cincinnati, OH
·        Alexandra Hoog from Bethel, OH
·        Heather McDonough from Monroe, OH
·        Michelle Miller from Springfield, OH
·        Kim Poynter from Batavia, OH
·        Molly Rogers from Cincinnati, OH
·        Lisa Ross from Burlington, KY


I did a little Q&A interview with Clinton, which you can check out below. Like I said, when he comes to Cincinnati I’ll get some one on one time and I’ll catch it all on video for you. Post in the comment section below what you’d like me to ask him when I meet him on May 15! Until then, enjoy this Q&A about the Make Over America campaign he’s coming into town for!

Amy: The press release says you’re going to help these women reinvent themselves from head to toe. Tell me about that. “Reinvent” sounds like so much more than just a surface makeover.

Clinton: I made over 225 women last year. I’ve done it enough to know that it’s not just a surface makeover. These women have written me the most wonderful letters and they’ve posted on the Facebook fan page that it’s changed their lives. So, what I’m doing is giving a surface makeover, but quite frankly it does go a little deeper than that.”

Amy: I knew a few models who were involved in one of the last events you did with Macys in Cincinnati. One in particular said you were meticulous and paid attention to every last detail before the models walked out on the runway. That was really powerful to hear because I think we sometimes see a spokesperson as a talking head who isn’t very involved. Tell me about your involvement in this campaign and level of work you put into these makeovers and this tour.

Clinton: I don’t just settle for okay. I settle for fabulous. That’s my goal: To make every woman look as fabulous as she can.

When you’re working with real women, it’s very different than working with models in that models get paid to wear what you tell them to wear. So, if they don’t like it, tough. They have to wear it anyway. Real women have opinions. I tell the real women “It’s important you like what I put you in, because if you don’t have that confidence on the runway you’re not going to impress anyone.”

Half the style is the confidence in what you’re wearing. So, if you feel uncomfortable, everyone else is going to feel that. I make sure that there’s a dialog between me and the real women. I call it a co-creation because it’s not me doing all the work and it’s not them doing all the work. It’s a real back and forth. Some women say, “I can’t wear heels,” so I work around that. Or they say, “I really don’t like my legs,” so I say ok that’s fine too.

I don’t do this for my ego. Don’t get me wrong my ego isn’t completely out of the equation. But, for the most part, I do this because I enjoy showing women they can be beautiful despite what they may think.

Amy: Sounds like you’re teaching these women some pretty valuable tools to spruce up their style. Can you share some of your best secrets that my readers can easily apply?

Clinton: Unfortunately there is a definite “Mom uniform.” It’s the cross training sneakers, light wash jeans, topped with a t-shirt, topped with a hoody. I think it’s a shame because they’ll never feel pretty in those four pieces. But there are four very easy alternatives.

Non athletic sneaker, boots or flats.

Dark wash jean with a straight leg that goes straight from the hip to the ground. Boom! Much more polished. Much more elongating on the leg. It takes the same amount of time to put on a bad pair of jeans as it does a good pair.

Instead of a t-shirt, do a blouse. Women think blouses are fancy. They are not fancy, they’re just shirts made for women.

And the hoody or sweatshirt, they do nothing for your body. You need to upgrade that to a jacket. It doesn’t need to be a suit jacket. It can be a cotton jacket or a denim jacket. It creates an hourglass shape even if you don’t have one.

These are four ways every woman can do today to completely reinvent her casual style.

Check out the video below of the Make Over America 2010 preview!